First Day of Summer
Welcome, summer. The first day of summer is June 20 in the Northern Hemisphere, beginning at 7:09 p.m. EDT. It's also the summer solstice (June 21 for some time zones), when the sun reaches the farthest point north of the equator. "The word solstice is from the Latin solstitium, from sol (sun) and stitium (to stop), reflecting the fact that the sun appears to stop at this time (and again at the winter solstice)," according to The Old Farmer's Almanac.
* June 20 is also Midsummer in the Wiccan year. Midsummer celebrations center around maypoles, dancing, bonfires and music.
Beachgoers never looked at the water the same after June 20, 1975. The genius of "Jaws" is twofold. John Williams' two-note theme representing the shark and Steven Spielberg's restraint in allowing the audience time to anticipate and imagine the shark. He took a page from Hitchcock's notebook and the scary summer movie went on to make $260 million domestically. Celebrate the "Jaws" anniversary by watching Roy Scheider, Richard Dreyfus and Robert Shaw take on one big shark.
Vanilla Milkshake Day
Cool off with a homemade vanilla shake. Use vanilla bean ice cream, a few drops of pure vanilla extract and some milk to make your own cool treat. Milkshakes were originally concocted as health foods and considered wholesome, according to Food Timeline. If you want to make a healthier shake, add a banana or some fresh berries and use low-fat milk and ice cream.
National Daylight Appreciation Day
Bring the daylight indoors to celebrate the first day of summer and the solstice. Natural sunlight is the "greenest" light you can use to illuminate your home, according to the holiday's creator Solatube. Some workplaces with integrated daylight experience less absenteeism, according to the National Renewable Energy Laboratory. Clean those windows, lose the heavy curtains and let the light shine in on June 20. Better yet, head outdoors and enjoy the health benefits sunlight.
"Vitamin D is best known for its vital role in bone health. Without this 'sunshine vitamin,' the body can't absorb the calcium it ingests, so it steals calcium from bones, increasing the risk of osteoporosis and fractures. Vitamin D also helps maintain normal blood levels of phosphorus, another bone-building mineral" according to Harvard Medical School.
World Refugee Day
The United Nations wants to bring attention to the rights and suffering of refugees. World Refugee Day coincides with Africa Refugee Day. The 2012 theme is dilemmas, depicting "some of the tough choices facing refugees, helping the public to empathize with, and understand, their dilemma," according to the U.N.
The U.N. General Assembly adopted resolution 55/76 in 1951, covering the right to:
* Not to be expelled, except under certain, strictly defined conditions;
* Not to be punished for illegal entry into the territory of a contracting state;
* Work, housing, education, freedom of religion and more.